Cambridge District Scout Archive
We have a few reports from Troops or Groups but very few as complete as this District report from 1931. One earlier reference from 1915 is of the Annual cost of badges to the District was £12, and at an average cost of 2d. per badge suggested that 1500 had been awarded.
For many years badges were issued without individual cost to troops and packs. In 1931, as for many other years, the District Badge Secretary presented a report not only on the number of badges issued but by Group, section and type of badge. W T Thurbon presented this first report ahead of his formal appointment to the role as he supported the then Equipment Store manger S W Edwards.
|Pack||Badges||No. in section||Average per |
Where more than five of any one badge were issued to a pack they were recorded: we can see that all those awarded to the 14th were in three categories. This may reflect what the Cub Masters considered important, what the Cub Masters were readily able to achieve, what the Cubs were able to achieve at that time or the availability of badge examiners. Some badges are more readily achievable than others and, as today, being able to present a Cub with his first badge may lead to them work for more.
- Of the 19 5 Collectors, 7 Team Player, 7 Home Orderlies
- Of the 7 5 Home Orderlies
- Of the 20 11 Collectors 6 Athletes
The Scouts are also are listed by average per boy. This average is one way of judging effectiveness of a Troop, but can be readily distorted by able Scouts who progress towards 1st class and Kings Scout. The 15th may have held a few achievers who gained the majority of the nine badges.
|No. in Section||Average per |
All those troops who awarded more than five of one type were noted. As with the Wolf Cub totals many of the badges earnt by each patrol were from a limited set. The most notable example of this was the 25th – of the 15 issued – 5 Marksman, 9 Pioneering.
Three of the seven troops awarding more than five of one badge did the Cyclist badge, 2 the Missioner. No other badge issued on this scale was recorded in more than one troop.
The badges by type in total were
|13th||2 (Rambler Badges)|
52 Cub badges issued in total
|Proficiency Badge||Number||Proficiency Badge||Number|
|Healthy Man||14||Leather worker||2|
|Master at Arms||11||Reader||2|
|Star man||4||Weather man||1|
- 15th 5 Marksmen 9 Pioneer
- 32nd 9 Engineer 7 Master at Arms 8 Naturalists
- 23rd 5 Cyclists
- 16th 6 Entertainers 5 Metalworkers
- 43rd 9 Cyclists
- 25th 7 Missioners
- 5th 9 Cyclists 13 Healthy Men 11 Musicians 5 Swimmers 5 Pathfinders 7 Public Health
|Cords and Thongs|
|Green & Yellow||12|
|Red & White||2|
Badges of Rank
The work put into the reports was such that on W T Thurbon’s retirement the next badge secretary, Ken North, pointedly stepped away from this part of the role.
‘ I think that, on the whole, more attention was paid to Public Service Badges (towards the King’s Scout Badge) and other real Scouting subjects, although some troops had what we called “badge swats”, statistics were the regular thing. In later years, even after the Second War some Cub Packs also followed this and I know that Bill Thurbon spent a considerable amount of time, when he was Badge Secretary before I took over, working on those, just to be presented to the Executive Committee and laid on the table! When I took over I said that if they wanted this in the future, shop profits would suffer, and the matter was dropped.’ 1930’s From 70 years
JWR Archivist Apr 2019